Today marks the one year anniversary as a remote worker, and I have to say… I love it! For an introvert like me, working from home is the most rewarding experience I have ever had. Professionally, at least. That being said, in honor of my anniversary, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 best things about working from home!
1. Saving Money
While this list isn’t really in any particular order, one of the best things about working from home is the money-saving factor. My first month home, I saved $300 in gas alone! I didn’t calculate savings on food, however I do go out for lunch far less often. One of the less talked about things associated with working from home and money is the residual savings that come from being home more often. Saving money on gas is easy to calculate, but driving less extends the life of your car by putting less miles on it. Another plus is that I was able to drop the amount of data I had to pay for on my phone, since I was rarely away from a Wi-Fi signal.
2. Sleeping In
When you have to commute to work, you add an hour or two to your daily work schedule. When you work from home, that time disappears. When you wake up, you get to get ready, eat breakfast, and then sit down at your desk. No planning around weather and traffic.
This one is often joked about, but something that I actually really enjoy. Working from home means you don’t have to get “ready.” Sure, you brush your teeth, shower, and maybe shave, but beyond that, what do you really need to do? Unless I have to leave the house or hop on a video call, I tend to stay in my sweats!
Working in an office means dealing with a lot of little annoyances that cut into your productivity. Coworkers pop by your desk for a chat, impromptu meetings have a tendency to pop up every five minutes, you often overhear other conversations that you get drawn into… All of these things add up! When you work from home, those distractions disappear completely. Sure, you might get an email or a chat, but there’s rarely an immediacy to them, which allows you to more properly manage your time.
5. Work-Life Balance
Work-Life balance is usually the first thing people bring up when I tell them I work from home. The big question is “Don’t you feel like you’re always at work?” The answer, simply, is “No!” I’ve heard that others feel like they’re always at work when they work from home, however I actually feel like I’m “never” at work. This may come from doing something that I enjoy (web development), so it’s more like getting paid to do a hobby, but being home allows me to be flexible with my schedule, work when I feel productive, get errands done when everyone else is sitting at a desk, and help my wife with the baby.
The people that know me well know that I suffer from ongoing health issues. While there isn’t anything life threatening about these issues, they can get embarrassing at times, especially when working with people I’m not very close to. Working from home allows me to deal with these issues in a private environment that reduces my stress, and keeps me more focused on work.
Some may argue that slippers should be in the pajamas category, however I disagree. Slippers are amazing all by themselves, seeing that I wear them almost exclusively, and deserved their own section on this list.
8. Staying Warm
I’ll keep this one short. When it’s winter, I don’t have to go outside. Enough said.
9. Doing It My Way
One of the odd things about working from home is that I’m fairly convinced that my family thinks all I do is sit around and watch TV in my underwear all day… Granted, that’s not an inaccurate depiction of what I do, but the thing that is hard to convince people of is that those things actually help me work, rather than hinder my work. The freedom that comes from working the way I want to work allows me to do things I wouldn’t be able to do in an office, all while hitting my deadlines.
10. Working Vacations
A lot of remote workers take working vacations. In fact, there are a ton of them that take working vacations and never return home! Being able to travel and still get your work done is a godsend. It means that you can attend that out of town wedding, or even visit family and friends in other states, without losing any money! Working from home doesn’t mean that you have to be home. It just means that you don’t have to be in the office!